Tourist arrivals still driven by South Asia

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, from traditional bread and butter markets of Western Europe, showed signs of picking up in the month of June. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, from traditional bread and butter markets of Western Europe, showed signs of picking up in the month of June. Tourists to Sri Lanka increased by 42.3 percent in June, compared to June 2004, but the increase is still driven mainly by visitors from South Asian countries.

Arrivals from Western European countries increased by 28.1 percent with visitors from major markets like the UK, France and Germany picking up, according to Tourist Board statistics.

However, January to June total arrivals still showed a 16.3 percent drop from Western European countries compared to the first six months of 2004.

Over the first six months of the year, visitors from Eastern European countries like Russia also reduced by 38.5 percent.

Arrivals from South Asian countries like India, Maldives and Pakistan on the other hand increased by 33 percent in the month of June, to drive up total tourist numbers.

Total Indian arrivals came to 9,519 making India the largest tourist ma